Central Midlands League North Division
Clifford has a dream - to restore senior football to the town of Bolsover.
Cliff Thomas is the Chairman of FC Bolsover, and over two years ago now he sat down and formulated a plan. After an abortive start, it finally got off the ground this season, and if we were to provide a progress report, then clearly you would argue from a footballing perspective, things are very much on track.
Football in Bolsover has had a varied history. Carr Vale United were a Midland Counties League side in the Seventies, but they disappeared off the map as the Pyramid system evolved. Then as we moved into the start of the millennium, Coalite Sports & Social started to make some noises and indeed waves in local football, eventually joining the Central Midlands League as Bolsover Town. It lasted from 2004 until 2008 before they folded mid season.
The Coalite Sports Ground that they played at still remains, albeit in need of significant renovation, and it is on that ground that Cliff plans to restore senior football to the town. However, until then they have to share.
The season started at the Shirebrook Academy 4G pitch, which from a spectator perspective is far from ideal being cage football, but pretty soon a deal was done for FC Bolsover to share Shirebrook Town's tidy facilities on Langwith Road.
|Langwith Road in all it's glory|
The game tonight against Welbeck Lions, had it happened earlier in the season, I genuinely would have put money on a double figure victory. Welbeck have been, without a shadow of a doubt, the absolute whipping boys, and just looking at this seasons results, we've seen Bolsover put fifteen past them in the corresponding game, Phoenix seventeen, Retford fifteen, Harworth thirteen, Dronfield Reserves and Bentley twelve while fellow strugglers Dinnington have bagged eleven!
But, they've managed to bring in some better players, and they won their first game of the season last Saturday against Bilsthorpe, furthermore, having drawn the previous game against Thorne they were two unbeaten before tonight, which is absolutely unheard of at Welbeck in recent years.
Tonight's game was the only one that beat the weather for miles around, and arriving early, I was still sceptical given the heavy rains, but having wandered onto the pitch with Bolsover Manager Jordan Hall, it was quite clear that we'd have no problems at all.
|Pit Lights - a link to the industrial past|
6-0 might have been a touch harsh on Welbeck, it did seem like every chance Bolsover created found the net, and while the visitors didn't really look like breaching the hosts back line, they were far from outclassed in the game.
Welbeck, if they keep this side together, won't be whipping boys much longer, but as for Bolsover, the future is going to be very interesting. If Cliff can sort out the ground back in the town, which he claims in his programme notes will be next season, then senior football will have been restored to level previously unseen by the 'Bowza' locals.
The word 'Restoration' has been a key one in Bolsover since the closure of the coal mines, notably Markham Colliery which effectively employed the town, along with the aforementioned Coalite. As the landscape changes, a resurgent football club deserves to be part of that, and without doubt the foundations are in place.